Eight Best Dog Breeds for the Outdoor Enthusiast

Jump­ing over ledges, leap­ing over logs and per­form­ing some pret­ty spec­tac­u­lar aer­i­al acro­bat­ics are all stan­dard pro­ce­dure for most dogs, but they’re also the same tal­ents shared by folks who love tra­vers­ing long dis­tances out­doors. We think there’s no rea­son dogs and peo­ple shouldn’t be doing them togeth­er. If you have a love for sports that are best played out in the wild, here are a few breeds you’ll prob­a­bly get on well with.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/corinne_benavides/Bor­der Collie
The Bor­der Col­lie is heav­i­ly regard­ed as the most intel­li­gent dog breed out there and he’s incred­i­bly active to boot. If you see one of these guys in an agili­ty com­pe­ti­tion you can bet he’ll be at the top of the pack. He loves to jump and dart around obsta­cles and would be the per­fect com­pan­ion for any­one who spends his days leap­ing over logs and splash­ing through rivers.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/vladm2007/Stan­dard Poodle
The sec­ond most intel­li­gent dog breed is also capa­ble of learn­ing how to nav­i­gate dif­fi­cult obsta­cles, mak­ing him one of the best breeds for folks who love to moun­tain bike through the woods. The Stan­dard Poo­dle is eas­i­ly rec­og­niz­able for its remark­able appear­ance, which includes long legs that car­ry him high in the air and allows him to move grace­ful­ly across the ground. He’s per­fect­ly capa­ble of keep­ing up with a fast pace and, truth­ful­ly, might even be able to out­run you on your bike.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/haroldmeerveld/Ger­man Shepherd
The Ger­man Shep­herd is sort of the bad boy of the dog world, with a fierce per­son­al­i­ty, hand­some looks and a bit of a wild side. He loves to be in the mid­dle of the action and is always down for com­pe­ti­tion. His long, lean body makes him very agile and capa­ble of mak­ing astound­ing leaps from his hind legs. He’s also a tad sus­cep­ti­ble to hip dys­pla­sia, so he needs to be well mon­i­tored if you’re going to go hop­ping over boul­ders with him. He’s a great trail run­ner and can even do well with moun­tain climbing.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/eyth16_de/Jack Rus­sell Terrier
Yep, that’s right; this tiny ter­ror is one of the best dogs at tack­ling obsta­cle and agili­ty cours­es. He’s chock full of ener­gy and is great at tack­ling sharp turns. He might not be able to make the high­est leaps out there, but with his smarts he’ll find a way to climb over any­thing you can throw in front of him. The rugged out­doors are actu­al­ly pret­ty per­fect for his tiny body. Take him with you when you’re hik­ing, jog­ging or even rock climb­ing as he’s pret­ty good and find­ing his way over the rocks. Heck, he might even beat you to the top if he takes the long way around.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdehaan/Aus­tralian Kelpie
The Aus­tralian Kelpie has the per­son­al­i­ty and work eth­ic of the Aus­tralian Shep­herd and the body of a Ger­man Shep­herd, mak­ing him on mon­strous pup when it comes to agili­ty. He’s quick on his feet, high­ly intel­li­gent, and always ready to throw down on a chal­lenge. It sure doesn’t help that he’s cute as a but­ton, too. Ide­al­ly, he’ll have an own­er who enjoys long-dis­tance run­ning or a good day spent on the beach or out on the waves rid­ing a board.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/smerikal/Labrador Retriev­er
The Lab has been America’s favorite dog breed for 25 years run­ning, thanks heav­i­ly to his friend­ly dis­po­si­tion and his abil­i­ty to fit in well in any sit­u­a­tion. Out­door enthu­si­asts will find this guy to be ath­let­ic and agile, while also smart enough to tack­le any bar­ri­er in front of him. He’s easy to train and loves to please, so you can feel com­fort­able let­ting him off leash wher­ev­er you choose to run.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bantam10/Aus­tralian Shepherd
It’s impos­si­ble to make a list of per­fect breeds for leap­ing over things and not include the Aus­tralian Shep­herd; this guy con­sis­tent­ly ranks near the top of the leader­board in every com­pe­ti­tion he enters. The Aussie is quick, smart and has more ener­gy than most peo­ple can han­dle. He’s the per­fect pup for those who like to spend their days out­side on the run or in the air. He’s great for moun­tain climbers thanks to his thick coat, as well as hik­ers, campers and runners.

While at first glance you might think we must be jok­ing, but Papil­lons have increas­ing­ly been involved in agili­ty com­pe­ti­tions over the last few years and are cer­tain­ly mak­ing a name for them­selves on the scene. These tiny toy spaniels are full of ener­gy and are capa­ble of mak­ing some pret­ty impres­sive leaps for dogs of their size. Take one of these along on your jaunts and you’re sure to draw a lot of attention.